Venue: via Skype
Contact: Email: Democratic.Services@swdevon.gov.uk
On behalf of the Council, the Chairman welcomed the Chief Executive to his first Full Council meeting since joining the Council.
The minutes of the meetings of the Council held on 23 April 2020 and 30 April 2020 were both approved as a true and correct record.
Monitoring Officer Statement
The Chairman invited the Monitoring Officer to make a statement to the meeting on the procedure to be adopted at this remote Council meeting that included the following points:
- In the event of the meeting lasting beyond two hours, then it would be adjourned to enable for a short break;
- Unless speaking, all microphones should be placed on mute;
- The Rules of Debate were highlighted and it was reaffirmed that the five minute time limit for speakers would be enforced at this meeting;
- The process for how Recorded Votes would be carried out was described to those in attendance; and
- The method by which Members should raise a ‘Point of Order’ was also outlined.
Declarations of Interest
Members are invited to declare any personal; or disclosable pecuniary interests, including the nature and extent of such interests they may have in any items to be considered at this meeting;
Members were invited to declare any interests in the items of business to be considered during the course of the meeting, but there were none made.
The Council considered a report that sought to adopt the Plymouth and South West Devon Supplementary Planning Document (SPD).
In her introduction, the Leader of Council wished to record her thanks to the lead officers for the exceptional amount of work that had been undertaken to compile the SPD. In addition, the Leader also confirmed that both Plymouth City and West Devon Borough Councils had already adopted the SPD and its two companion documents at recent meetings.
In the ensuing debate, the following points were raised:-
(a) Officers confirmed that adoption of the SPD would help to provide greater detail around how the Joint Local Plan (JLP) adopted policies would be applied. In addition, the SPD reinforced the policies contained within the JLP and would provide added clarity for both developers and planning officers;
(b) Whilst stating that elements of the SPD were encouraging, some Members did retain specific concerns relating to:
o The JLP enabling for development that was against the local wishes of residents living in the Dartington and Staverton Ward;
o The comments relating to Housing Mix being contradictory throughout the SPD thereby presenting an opportunity for developers to relinquish their responsibilities; and
o The SPD still lacking any genuine definition of what constituted affordable housing in the South Hams;
(c) A Member reiterated the points that he had raised during the consultation exercise in respect of the importance of constructing zero carbon homes immediately and the need to work together to lobby Central Government to bring about the required changes in legislation;
(d) The contents in the SPD that were specifically related to trees, hedgerows and woodland were welcomed by a Member.
It was then:
That the Council adopts:
1. The Plymouth and South West Devon Supplementary Planning Document (as attached at Appendix A of the presented agenda report); and
2. Its two companion documents: the ‘Developer Contributions Evidence Base’ and the ‘Traditional Farm Buildings: Their adaptation and re-use (Barn Guide)’ (as included in Appendix of the presented agenda report) in accordance with Regulation 14 of the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning)(England) Regulations 2012 (as amended).
The Council considered a report that presented an update on the development of the draft Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy.
During the debate, the following points were raised:-
(a) Assurances were given that all Members would have the ability to have an input into the Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan before it was then re-considered at the Council meeting on 24 September 2020;
(b) An amendment to the motion was PROPOSED and SECONDED as follows:
1. That the consultees or their representatives be invited to address the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group by means of a remote meeting within the next six weeks. The meeting be subject to a protocol which provides for each address to be no longer than 5 minutes;
2. That the membership of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group be increased to eight Members, with Cllr Rose being nominated by the Opposition Group and Cllr Brown being nominated by the Conservative Group.
In discussion on the amendment, the proposer felt that the additions would be reflective of the emphasis that the Council was giving to the Emergency that it had declared. At the invitation of the Chairman, the proposer and seconder of the original motion both confirmed that they were willing to accept the amendment and it was therefore included as part of the substantive motion;
(c) Since town and parish councils now had the ability to meet remotely, there was felt to be greater scope to engage and consult with these stakeholders;
(d) In emphasising the importance of making tangible progress, some Members felt that there was a need for the Action Plan to now commit to dates, costings and the establishment of SMART targets.
It was then:
1. That the progress on the development of the draft Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy be noted;
2. That the feedback from the consultation on the draft Action Plan exercise undertaken in Quarter 4 of 2019/20 be noted;
3. That the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group be requested to update the Strategy and Action Plan in light of the consultation responses and report back to the Council meeting on 24 September 2020;
4. That the correlation between the Council’s Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategy and the Emerging Recovery and Renewal Plans be recognised and that, in developing and implementing its plans, including working towards a resilient green and sustainable economy, it will engage with local businesses, organisations and residents;
5. That the consultees or their representatives be invited to address the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group by means of a remote meeting within the next six weeks. The meeting be subject to a protocol which provides for each address to be no longer than 5 minutes;
6. That the membership of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group be increased to eight Members, with Cllr Rose being nominated by the Opposition Group and Cllr Brown being nominated by the Conservative Group.
Members considered a report that informed of the revised political composition of the Council.
It was then:
That, with immediate effect:
1. the revised political composition of the Council be noted as follows:
§ Conservative Group: 16 Members;
§ Liberal Democrat Group: 10 Members;
§ Independent Group: 3 Members; and
§ Green Party Group: 2 Members;
2. Cllr J Hodgson be appointed to serve on the Licensing Committee for the period until the next Annual Council meeting; and
3. Cllr J Sweett be nominated to serve as a Development Management Committee Substitute Member for the Independent Group for the period until the next Annual Council meeting.
Overview & Scrutiny Panel 27 February 2020 O&S.x/19 – O&S.x/19
Executive * 18 June 2020 E.x/19 – E.x/19
That the minutes and recommendations of the undermentioned Bodies be received and approved subject to any amendments listed below:-
(a) Overview and Scrutiny Panel – 27 February 2020
(b) Executive – 18 June 2020
E.89/19: Ivybridge Regeneration Project
1. That a further £65,000 be spent from the Economic Regeneration Earmarked Reserve on commissioning further work to provide advice in order to move the project forward in the following areas:
o Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and car park lease structure to facilitate a pay on exit solution;
o Agreement to lease documents; and
o Treasury Management advice; and
2. That officers be requested to bring a subsequent report back to the Executive and Council in September with a recommendation for the project to move to the planning and tender stage on the satisfactory conclusion of the work commissioned in the previous recommendation.
E.90/19: Grounds Maintenance Review
1. That the operating cost of the service be reduced by 5% (amounting to £23,400); and
2. That any in-year surplus (after the saving) be transferred into a Grounds Maintenance Earmarked Reserve at the end of each Financial Year to be reinvested back into the service.